By Murray Bishoff
In the first meeting by the new Board of Directors for the Monett Chamber of Commerce, President Walter Branch named chairmen in charge of major projects for the year.
Russ Moreland and Todd Schubert will manage the agriculture conferences.
Rod Anderson is in charge of the Christmas parade.
Lisa Schlichtman and Donna Beckett will head the Festival of Flavors.
Keith McCracken and Jeremy Vanderbol will oversee the Festival of Lights.
Scott Smith and Bob Markovics will manage the Industrial Appreciation Golf Tournament.
Lisa Schlichtman and Rhonda Schilly will head up Leadership Monett.
Janell Patten and Walter Branch are in charge of membership.
Markovics will organize the luncheon for new teachers in the Monett R-1 School District.
Noel George will oversee the prayer breakfast.
Branch will be the chamber's representative for the Industry Council.
Branch, Markovics, Beckett and past president Regina Bowsher will serve on the finance and budget committee.
Bowsher is in charge of the annual meeting.
Vanderbol will head the government affairs committee.
Schilly will oversee the chamber's chalk walk art contest, which has been held as part of Broadway Nights.
Patten reported membership renewals by mid-April had reached 60 percent. Renewals must arrive by May 1 for members to be listed in the annual directory.
Invitations to play and to buy sponsorships for the Industrial Appreciation Golf Tournament on June 1 have been mailed. Players can register until May 25 by calling the chamber office at 235-7919 or on the community calendar section of the chamber's website.
As a special feature to mark the 25th anniversary of the tournament, the chamber is selling tickets corresponding with numbered golf balls for $10 or two for $15. Prior to the beginning of play, the RE/MAX balloon will fly over the Windmill Ridge golf course and dump the balls. The one closest to the cup will win a trip for two to Cancun, Mexico.
Suzy McElmurry, chamber executive director, got the idea for the "air putt" from another event and modified it for Monett's event. The idea has stirred significant interest, she reported.
The tournament will again feature drawing prizes, lunch with sandwiches from the Bayou restaurant, chicken from Tyson Foods and pizza. A steak dinner will be provided during the awards presentation at the end of the day.
The Greater Ozarks Leadership Development Group, composed of representatives from 13 counties that gather monthly, will hold their next meeting on May 9 at the chamber office in Monett. McElmurry said the occasion provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the community. Representatives will tour the new Monett YMCA facility and several industries.
The chamber will again host a visit by the Bluecoats Drum And Bugle Corps, a nationally known band and marching troupe from Canton, Ohio, on July 18. The Bluecoats will give demonstration at Burl Fowler Stadium that evening.
The chamber will provide water and other supplies for the approximately 150 young men and women from age 15 to 22. Donations will be accepted at the stadium gate to help the group on the way to competition in San Antonio, Texas.
Preparations were discussed for the prayer breakfast, held on May 3 as part of the National Day of Prayer. The event was well attended, with special music provided by Tracy Essary. Special prayers were offered for Brad Hanson, stepping into the job of Monett R-1 school superintendent, and for John Jungmann, outgoing superintendent who is heading to the Liberty School District.
Preparations for the April Main Street meeting were discussed by McElmurry and Adriana Salas, administrative assistant. The chamber hosted Norma Ramirez de Miess, a senior program officer for the National Trust for Historic Presentation Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. and Jeanine Rann, Missouri Main Street community development coordinator.
Board members were having pictures taken by Memories Photography for the membership directory. Pictures of chamber staff and license office were also being taken.
Denise Allen has joined the license office as a full-time staff member, filling the position Salas had before moving to the chamber office.
For the year ending March 31, the license office processed 21,743 motor vehicle transactions and 5,050 driver's licences. The total was above budget projections.
McElmurry said that for the last two years, the license office has worked 256 business days. Total transactions were down slightly from the previous year. However, for the first quarter of 2012, new car sales appear to have significantly increased, bringing more business to the office.
During the year, the license office began selling bolts to put license plates on vehicles. McElmurry said 526 boxes of bolts have been sold. Plastic covers for handicapped placards were recently introduced and have also been selling well. Charges of $2 per fax, another new service introduced in the past year, generated $306 in March as a typical month.
The chamber board will next meet on May 16.